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30.11.2009 Health

Coalition of NGOs holds strategic meeting… Towards passage of Tobacco Control Bill into law

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The Coalition of Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) over the weekend held a meeting to put in place strategic measures towards the passage of the Tobacco Control Bill into law.

The bill, when passed into law, would mainly reduce tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco, thereby improving the health of Ghanaians and guests.

The bill seeks to ban smoking in public places, prohibit the sale or offer for sale of tobacco products in health and educational institutions, theatres, sports stadia, and other public places.

The Tobacco Control Bill has therefore been developed to implement the provisions of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

Briefing the press in Accra, on the need for a strong Tobacco Control Law and Art 11 of the FCTC, the President of Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), Mr. Issah Ali, said the FCTC's objective was to “to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.”

According to him the FCTC provisions and recommendations included large health warning labels required, text and pictorial warnings thus 30%-50%.

He said FCTC's Article 13 states that tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, recommends that there should be comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorships, including donations.

He said Ghana was using directives to ban tobacco advertisement, which has been very successful.

He pointed out that certain countries had discovered the main causes of smoking tobacco, including countries like Thailand, which has discovered that smoking tobacco causes lung cancer, Egypt discovered that tobacco causes diseases of the heart, and the UK discovered that tobacco destroys the arteries.

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